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It’s widely accepted that content created by third parties in general holds more value for businesses than content they create themselves. Many have felt that consumers better trusted product information and reviews written by neutral persons. According to new research by Vibrant Media, however, that thought process may no longer be the case, if it ever was.
The Vibrant study included 1,000 Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 and revealed some interesting data that should serve as a wake up call for brands. Some of the study’s key finding includes:
According to an article about the study, published on the Content Standard, “the majority of US consumers want content from their favorite brands, and 46 percent read their favorite brands’ blogs.”
Many companies question the value blog articles and content bring to their brand. As public relations agencies increasingly take on the responsibility of managing social media and content marketing, it has become apparent that producing content offers a myriad of benefits for companies. This includes opportunities to connect with their potential and existing customers via comments, the ability to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries, search engine optimization benefits and, most importantly, the ability to keep their companies top-of-mind.
The key to successful content production is cemented in the strategy that content produced must provide value to an audience. All companies want to spread the news about their latest product and service. There is nothing wrong with that. It just has to be done right. A company needs to strike a balance between product info and best practices tips and information of value to their audience. PR professionals can strategically identify key industry sites and news sources that are appropriate for each message.
According to this study, customers – both existing and potential – want to learn from you and better utilize the products and services you offer. Many of you, however, aren’t providing the content their audience is seeking. If almost half of consumers trust your content, ensuring that the content is relevant, educational and informative, is of utmost importance to maintaining and building an audience.
Consistently creating and publishing content can also lead to increased requests for interviews and speaking engagements. Companies who employ successful content marketing strategies oftentimes find media sources and events seeking them out as a result of their increased profile.
This Vibrant Media study data suggests that companies should increase their focus and efforts in creating successful content marketing strategies. The data shows that apparently your customers are not simply paying attention, but are craving this content. If you fail to produce any, you are missing golden opportunities to connect with your audience, and losing the side benefits that consistent quality content can produce.